March 3, 2018 / 6:27 PM / in 7 months

Tennis: Bautista Agut downs Pouille to win Dubai final

(Reuters) - Third-seed Roberto Bautista Agut defeated France’s Lucas Pouille 6-3 6-4 in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Saturday to secure his first ATP 500 title.

Tennis - ATP - Dubai Open - Final - Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 3, 2018. Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain celebrates after defeating Lucas Pouille of France. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

Bautista Agut, who won the Auckland Classic title in January, controlled the match from the start and took a 3-1 lead and the 29-year-old held on to capture the first set.

The Spaniard, who dropped just one set on his way to the final, maintained his momentum in the second to outclass Pouille and win his eighth career title.

“This tournament is very special. It is for sure going to be (always) in my heart and I am so happy I have won a 500 event,” Bautista Agut said.

“Lucas is a really great player, he has a great future and is playing unbelievable tennis in the last month. I want to wish him good luck for the rest of the season.”

Second-seed Pouille, competing in his third ATP final in four events, also lost a chance to move into the top 10 for the first time.

Bautista Agut is expected to climb to world number 16 when the updated rankings are released on Monday.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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